In a message to its industry partners, Royal Caribbean advises that the well-being of its guests, travel partners, crew and the communities that it visits remain its utmost priority.
The company says in its message: “We are committed to health, safety and doing our part to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, in alignment with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the suspension of all cruise operations is now extended through September 30, 2020 (excluding China sailings).”
It continues: “We understand that your clients are eager to get resolution when it comes to their vacation plans, so Royal Caribbean is doing all we can to help. We have several appealing compensation options prepared for your clients’ consideration, specifically those confirmed on sailings departing Sept. 16 to Sept. 30, 2020 and not previously canceled under our Cruise with Confidence offer.
The cruise company also points to a number of programs it has in place to help its partners and their customers.
To start, Royal Caribbean outlines its Lift & Shift option which is designed for clients who simply want to move their existing reservation to next year, all while protecting their original cruise fare and promotion.
Agents simply select next year’s sailing on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week window of the original cruise date and their clients are all set.
The Lift & Shift feature can be found on CruisingPower.com and easily moves your clients’ reservation to a qualifying sailing next year. However, agents should note that this option expires on Aug. 5, 2020.
And to compensate agents’ clients for the disruption in their plans, Royal Caribbean is offer a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that’s based on the total cruise fare paid at the guest level, which will be automatically issued on or before Aug. 26, 2020, if no other option is selected. Taxes and fees, as well as any pre-purchased amenities or onboard packages, will be automatically refunded to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancellation date.
As well, if an agent’s client had previously opted to take advantage of Royal Caribbean’s Cruise with Confidence policy, the 100% FCC will stand, and this new option will not be available to them.
Additionally, if agents’ clients have redeemed their Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credit on a sailing that is now cancelled, their original FCC will be reinstated, plus 125% of any amount paid by the guest on the cancelled reservation.
For agents with clients who would simply like a refund, Royal Caribbean says that it’s happy to return the funds paid per guest when requesting this option on or before Dec. 31, 2020.
The cruise line advises agents that to request the refund on their client’s behalf, simply select the “Cruise Suspension” option via the automated “Cruise with Confidence” form on CruisingPower.com under “Brand Programs & News” and the process will begin.
Royal Caribbean says that the agent’s client can expect his/her refund to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancellation date.
And to ensure that the agent’s client is making the best possible choice for their vacation option, there is no need to rush on deciding — the 125% Future Cruise Credit will remain active until the refund request is submitted, at which time it will be deactivated.
Royal Caribbean also advises agents that if their client redeemed a Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credit on an impacted sailing and would now prefer a refund instead, Royal Caribbean will process this request in the amount of any new funds paid above the original certificate and, in turn, will reinstate the Cruise with Confidence FCC for future use.
In its message, Royal Caribbean says that: “As we continue to navigate these challenging and uncertain times together, a deeper partnership has formed. We thank you endlessly for your ongoing support, patience and passion. Understanding these times aren’t easy, rest assured that your earned commission will be protected, regardless of the compensation option selected.”
And it concludes: “The day will come when all this is behind us — and we’ll reach it together. Stay safe!”